Before a show

This poem was written a couple of years ago. My wife and I were at a Comedy Gala waiting for the show to start.

From our seats, I could see sets of eyes occasionally peer throw a gap in the curtain. Imagining myself in their shoes, I wrote the following poem… It is also the name of one my favourite songs by a little Australian band called Cold Chisel.


That one mad moment before the curtain rises 

The electricity is in me. 

I feel it build as the seconds count down to 


It has all led to this – 

all the knock-backs, break-throughs 

nights of angst 

Moments of wild oblivion when it all came together, 

self doubt, misinformed ego. 

I am here. 

You are on the other side. 

The dynamic tension between 

my hopes and your expectation. 

It can never end the same way twice 

You will always be a different person 

I am ever growing in this thing I call a craft. 

I have learnt to harness the energy, of it, 

at times abuse it 

It keeps me sharp for these 60 minutes 

When I will feel actually alive 

Your applause is not like heroin, it is 

more than that 

It is the vital ingredient 

I need for my heart to revive 

To feel as if I should go on 

Keep packing, moving, arriving, delivering, leaving 

My other life on hold for as long as you still gasp, laugh, clap 

It could all fall over 

If I miss my cue 

Push you too far 

Say too much, not enough. 

You are there  

I am here 

Lights drop 

The music changes 

Curtains stir to rise. 

And the last second slips away. 

My moment 


Photo by Monica Silvestre on

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